Afghanistan may be slated to enter a second cease-fire with the Taliban in an attempt to foster peace talks between the opposing sides, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.
The plan hopes to replicate the success of the unprecedented cease-fire that took place for three days in June in honor of the Islamic holy holiday of Eid. Both Taliban and Afghan fighters took to the streets to celebrate, hugging and celebrating in unity, renewing faith in the possibility of lasting peace, BBC reported in June. (RELATED: White House Will Initiate Talks With Taliban To End War In Afghanistan)
If all goes well, the new cease-fire, which potentially could take place during the second Islamic Eid holiday in August, could allow the U.S. and Afghan officials to work out a negotiation with the Taliban to end the war in Afghanistan that has been raging for 17 years.
The New York Times first hedged that the U.S. would engage the Taliban directly to end the war, according to reports on Monday, but the Pentagon and Resolute Support, an American-led international coalition in Afghanistan, insisted that the negotiations should be initiated by Afghani’s themselves.
“The United States is not a substitute for the Afghan people or the Afghan government,” U.S. Army Gen. John Nicholson, Resolute Support commander, said on Monday in a statement.
The U.S. has taken several steps to pave the way for peace talks with the Taliban in recent months. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in early July to assure him that his country and their government would be integral for talks with the Taliban.
Alice G. Wells, a senior diplomat in Afghanistan, held peace talks with both Afghan and Pakistani leaders in July, and is hopeful that U.S. involvement in talks could speed up a resolution, according to The Wall Street Journal.
“The United States has made clear that we are prepared to support, facilitate and participate in direct negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban,” Wells said to the House Foreign Affairs Committee in June.
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